Extreme Weather Gardening

Seeds supplied by Dobies of Devon are grown throughout the EU and EEA and the resulting plants manage to cope with some very extreme weather conditions. Some of the coldest weather is experienced in Norway yet even here Dobies customers, Jean and Graham Armishaw, have managed to create a wonderful garden, despite the snow!


Jean and Graham built their stunning house beside a lake in Norway with the nearest village being 11 km away. Bulldozers were needed to make tracks and the house was built on rock, surrounded by the boggy remains of glacial moraine. Shingle from the shores of the lake was used to build paths and borders in the garden and recycled wood was used to make two greenhouses and cold frames. Troughs and planters were gouged from tree trunks.

Norway1Once the framework of the garden was in place Jean and Graham turned their efforts to growing their vegetables. Using Dobies seed they successfully grow potatoes, parsnips, carrots, sprouts, broccoli, onions, runner beans, broad beans, peas, salad and sometimes courgette. Tomatoes commute between the greenhouse and outdoors, depending on the weather. In terms of fruit the hardworking Armishaw’s grow rhubarb, blackcurrants, red currants, white currants, gooseberries, damsons, strawberries and raspberries. As an added bonus blueberries grow wild in Jean and Graham’s woodlands.



Keen to share her knowledge Jean joined her local horticultural society and gave a talk about growing vegetables and self-sufficiency. Soon after Jean was visited by a group of people from her local council wanting to take a look for themselves. As a result the garden will feature in the ‘1000 Open Gardens’ scheme from early August 2016.

Jean and Graham are a gardening inspiration and show that it is possible to grow food from seed, even in extreme weather conditions. So, let’s not worry about any snow that falls on our gardens this winter. Spring will soon be here.